How does an injured worker win a Pennsylvania Work Comp case?
Here are some tips.
Hire a Certified Work Comp Attorney!
You will want to avoid a Jack Of All Trades attorney, or someone who doesn’t limit their practice to Pennsylvania Work Comp. There are too many nuances and traps to fall into. Attorney Cardamone sat for and passed the very first Certification Exam in Pennsylvania several years ago. 100% of the firm’s practice is Pennsylvania Work Comp. He has 18 years experience and wins the vast majority of his cases.
Give the Doctors a Complete History Of Your Medical Condition!
If you sustained a back injury at work, and had previous back treatment, make sure the doctors know about it! Do not convince yourself that the prior treatment is irrelevant because it was so long ago, or that it was something minor, and that you recovered from it, etc. The easiest and most common way to lose a case is to FAIL to disclose prior treatment or injuries, even if you personally don’t find it relevant. The doctors and lawyers need to know about everything. Let them sort out what’s related to what and what’s relevant. Remember, an aggravation of a pre-existing condition is still a work injury. Even if you injured your back before, if you can show that a work activity aggravated it, then you still have a case. It doesn’t help whatsoever to leave prior history out when asked about it.
Communicate With Your Employer!
If your Employee Handbook says that you must present a doctor’s note for a call out, then provide a note! Do whatever you can to avoid allowing the Employer to terminate you “for cause”. Many injured workers will fail to review the Employee Handbook about the protocol after a work injury, or for missing time. Getting terminated for cause can jeopardize a wage loss claim.
Communicate With Your Attorney!
Communication is so vital to maximizing a case. For example, if you received a job offer letter in the mail, advising that the Employer can offer you work within your restrictions, then tell your attorney. Or, if you get forms in the mail to fill out, and are confused about them, call you attorney. If you have returned to work, or are thinking about returning to work, call you attorney. If you have, or need to, change doctors, call your attorney. Over-communicating is better than Under-communicating. These cases can make you feel exhausted, but they don’t last forever. Hang in there and stay attentive to details.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice!
If your treating doctor advises you to do therapy 3 days a week, but you miss appointments without good reason, that will hurt your case. If they advise to avoid lifting more than 10 lbs, then don’t lift more than 10 lbs. In other words, trust the experts! If you don’t feel like your doctor is on your team, call your attorney immediately. Medical evidence is ultimate key to winning so being on the same page with your doctor is critical.
Be Accurate and Honest!
Of course, this goes without saying. However, the heat of the moment in a deposition or in court, can make people exaggerate. Remember, judges and lawyers tend to be very precise in the way they think. If you are asked “What type of work do you think you can do?” and you reply, “Nothing, I can’t work”, you will likely be asked more questions, such as “Can you pick up a phone?” or “Can you talk?”, “Can you sit for 15 minutes at a time?” You want to be as precise as possible when answering questions. Many injured workers will become exhausted by all the questions, and overstate things in an attempt to get their testimony over and done. But this can be problematic. Ask your attorney what the key questions will be so that you can think about how to articulate a truthful, accurate answer.
These are just some tips. There are many factors to presenting a persuasive Pennsylvania Work Comp case. Remember also, that every case is unique. Listen to your attorney’s advice as best you can. Be attentive to hearing dates and whether you need to attend. You can only control so many things, but some effort can go a long way.
Call Cardamone Law, LLC for a Free Consult 7 Days A Week
or Email Michael@CardamoneLaw.com